8/08/2007

SNP demands for 9% of Broadcasting budget will cause a backlash

The SNP wants 9% of the BBC's budget to be spent in Scotland, and is looking at plans to draw up a Scottish Broadcasting Corporation to rival the BBC. This SNP plan is ludicrous in the extreme and will only cause a backlash.

How many Scots are employed by the BBC in London ? How many presenters, actors, technicians, support staff and cameramen from Scotland earn a good living in London or Bristol or Cardiff where the BBC make their very best dramas and comedies ?

SNP demands for 9% of the budget might seem okay, but in truth it is a demand for 9% for Scotland, with Scotland still wanting a share of the 91% left that is spent on England.

Inevitably there will be a backlash from non Scots. What if listeners demand that Edith Bowman, a Scot, lose her job on BBC Radio One and be replaced by a non Scot ? What happens if Richard Wilson wants to appear in another BBC comedy or another episode of Doctor Who alongside another Scot, David Tennant ?

The SNP have a parochial and rather pathetic view of broadcasting that believes that anything made outside of Scotland is not worthy. The Nationalism of thew SNP shines out above all other facets that normal politicians have like common sense, perspective and an understanding that accents and national borders are less important today than they have ever been.

P.S. Why wait till nearly six pm to publish this ? Well whenever I have written anything about the SNP before their team of Scottish parliamentary employees all get together and send comments. This way they'll at least have to do it from home rather than at tax payers expense.

10 comments:

Gavin said...

I'm not sure I go along with your take on this all the way. It's not about the nationality of broadcasters, nor even where the footage is shot, but where the production takes place.

I disagree with having a 'Scottish Six' for a number of reasons, but when it comes to production in general, decentralisation is a good thing. Scottish people shouldn't only see the world through Scottish spectacles, but nor should people in the South East not get different perspectives from a national broadcaster.

In the event, what will hopefully be a blip in BBC Scotland's production spending has given Salmond the chance to advance the inevitable chippiness.

I'm not sure talking up 'backlashes' is helpful in any case. Are you warning of a backlash or inciting one?

Norfolk Blogger said...

I'm, not one to stir anything up. But it will play in to the hands of English Nationalists and those poeple who alrady moan about the high % of non english people (and by that I don't mean non white) on telly.

Anonymous said...

The reason why the British government is against it is because from it would stem a perfectly rational , logical and fair demand for the same treatment for England .
ie there should be an English Broadcasting Corporation produced for England and not for the elitist , metropolitan group who control the BBC now .

From the mentality of Norfolk Blogger I assume he is the same type of Norfolk man who worked with the Norman state to put down the Ket Rebellion of the 1549. He certainly has that disdainful , reactionary , anti English , anti democratic feel to his words .

Richard Thomson said...

Gavin is right - this whole debate is about where the output is produced, not the nationalities of those involved. I'd be interested to know why you are so atavistically hostile to the notion that BBC Scotland should get a better share of those licence fee revenues which are raised in Scotland. The point, after all, is to make a more diverse contribution to the BBC network, not just to better reflect the different political, social, cultural and economic environment in Scotland.

If making such a reasonable suggestion 'plays into the hands of English nationalists' to the extent that they call for an ethnic cleansing of the airwaves, this suggests a deeply unnatractive malaise in English society towards those who are different. Wouldn't you be better using your talents to try and tackle this, instead of spitting venom at the SNP?

Norfolk Blogger said...

I fail to understand which of my words are anti English.

Also, perhaps before making silly statements you ought to think on a bit more. My wife's family are from the Kett lineage which can apparently be traced back to Robert Kett.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Richard, I am not that petty that I feel that money must be spent in Norfolk. We lsot a lot of TV production from the county when Survival films was destroyed by ITV and Anglia, who had one of the largets dframa production departments of the old ITV were merged with Meridian and then later Granada, so we lost a lot of money from our economy too.

I could go on about it and whinge or can accept that there are drama centres of excellence in this country still (not the word country) and that these are what ansures that broadcasting in the UK is the best in the world.

As for a Scottish Six O'clock news, I didn't say I was against it. However, I am surprised that there is no regional news at 6.30 similar to the rest of the UK.

Richard Thomson said...

There is 'regional news' in Scotland. The beef that many people have in Scotland (nationalist and unionist alike) is that much of the present BBC 6 O'Clock News carries stories that are laregely irrelevant to Scotland (items about exam passes going up when they mean A levels rather than Highers; crime and hospital waiting lists rising/falling when they only mean in a place called 'Englandandwales') - that sort of thing.

It's not petty or parochial to get irritated by those sorts of, well, let's be charitable and call them oversights. What I and others like me would prefer is to see a dedicated Scottish opt-out, taking the best of the current BBC international and network coverage alongside the top stories from Scotland, then let a Scottish based editor (I don't care where they come from) decide the running order.

At the moment, when it comes to political coverage, very little ever makes it from Holyrood to the main '6', while items from Westminster relating to matters devolved in Scotland and which therefore have little or no relevance to Scotland, still get broadcast north of the border. It means we're not holding our devolved government to proper account, since it's left to the 'regional' news to try and sweep up afterwards as best it can. And don't get me started about the duplication between the '6'/Reporting Scotland whenever something of major importance happens in Scotland.

BBC Scotland already provides this sort of mix on radio, and very successful it is too. There's no reason at all why it shouldn't translate to TV every bit as successfully, and if it means we start once more to build up the sort of critical mass of talent which you bemoan losing from Anglia, then that has to be a good thing, surely?

Norfolk Blogger said...

I my be sad at the loss of Anglia(n) TV outpit but I don't want to see politicians arguing that it must be reinstated.

As I said, I have no problems with Scotland having its own 6 O'clock News, so we agree on that.

Anonymous said...

The fact is some people might start to think NB is on to something by the fact that some Pro English posters here have accused him of being anti English and Scots accuse him of being anti Scottish.

Putting tribalism aside, is he perhaps not saying something that is true ?

Richard Thomson said...

Fair enough, NB.

BTW, anonymous, who accused anyone here of being 'anti-Scottish'?

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